Theres no doubt that the world is embracing eco-friendly options that are growing at an exponential rate. It is up to us, the emerging generation, to further these options and step up to help conserve energy and preserve the earths beauty before it is too late.
Some of these technological advancements do however grow at a much faster rate in metropolitan cities with a slower trickle down effect in the smaller, more rural communities. In Timmins for example, many of the newer products are either not yet available or have not been utilized to their full potential.
After visiting several potential environmentally friendly green buildings, I was disappointed to learn that not much of their architectural design had been planned around eco-friendly materials or products. I was excited however to discover that one of our local hotels, that is recognized for its nature trails and animal habitat are among the leaders in Timmins who are striving towards a change.
Cedar Meadows Resort & Spa and Cedar Meadows Wildlife Park have built their business around the premiss of balancing your life with nature. Situated on 175 acres, this 49 rooms and suites, 5 chalets and spa are all nestled in the majestic beauty and natural serenity of Northern Ontario. Their design reflects their sensitive treatment of the environment and thoughtful preservation of its natural setting. One of the owners, Richard Lafleur, explained that they are continuously upgrading their business in an effort to be energy efficient. They may not have been able to incorporate the Flat roof system in their designs, but their property thrives on green lawn care with sustainable equipment. For instance, all the recirculated water of the ponds on the property are filtered through a bog. It is 3 feet deep and uses the sand and mud to naturally clean out and oxygenate the water for the fish that thrive in them.
Also, the newest addition to their portfolio is their spa, Spa Grande Nature. Behind one of the back buildings stands an imposing 30 000 gallon solar hot water tank. This tank is currently heating all pools, the in-floor heating (even melting snow in the winter! Cause Timmins definitely needs that!) and all spa buildings. Their mandate is that they might increase this to eventually heat the whole hotel in this manner. The pools they feature are all salt pools as well. For the spa’s additional heat source for saunas and steam baths, they have installed Bio Mass Gasifying Boilers. These burn wood, but create a smokeless burn which is better for the environment.
Cedar Meadows Resort & Spa has also incorporated 5 new self sustaining Chalets for rent. The owner described the angle of their positioning on the
property as well as the slanted roofs as being significant for maximum solar absorption/retention. The natural environment, as well as strategically placed trees, further aid these properties overall.
Within the spa, there is a very unique commitment linked with their products. Eminence, is a handmade organic skincare company operating in Hungary since 1958. Their environmental commitment is called Forests for the future, where they pledge to plant a tree for every product sold. They have a website, www.enineceorganics.com where the owner can verify exactly how many trees their business has planted so far. Their VitaSkin line features products that are handmade weekly in small batches using ethically grown ingredients.
Throughout the hotel, the owners are choosing eco-friendly alternatives, big and small. Like most hotels, they embrace the model that asks guests to be responsible for their own eco-footprint by recycling their towels. They also have installed soap and shampoo dispensers in order to avoid the sample size bottle waste. All around the hotel, you will see the lighting system, which was already changed to low wattage coil bulbs, but is now being converted to LED.
One of the most recognized features of this property, and even throughout the North, is driving down…. and seeing the different animals of the Cedar Meadows Wildlife Park. Wether it be a herd of buffalo, an albino Moose or a Moose that strangely thinks he’s a buffalo, these and many other species call this peaceful terrain home. The daily tours defy explanation, to gently interact with these creatures in their natural habitat, is an experience not soon forgotten. In this case as well, it is one of the owners who personally oversees the diet and care of each and every animal.
One story I heard was that they once had a baby moose that just wouldn’t eat their feed. Somehow, the owner discovered that he would eat bananas and so thats exactly what he decided to give him. I know this for a fact because he would come daily to buy bananas at my fathers grocery store!
The natural conclusion after visiting this beautiful property, is that yes a green building does perhaps need to meet certain standards to qualify as such, but being green is about so many sensitive elements. Being Green is also about finding serenity, direction, preservation and wellness to balance a sustainable existence. This business is forward thinking and is determined to make a difference and tread lightly with their eco-footprint.